Lussick's Super League plans on hold
Manly Sea Eagles prop Darcy Lussick can stop packing his bags as there will be no mid-season transfer to Super League for the rugged front rower.
The 27-year-old made his return to rugby league from a month-long ankle injury on Saturday at Lottoland, starting in the front row for Blacktown, the Sea Eagles' Intrust Super Premiership side.
Less than two hours later Manly's NRL team took a bad hit - two hits to be exact.
They lost key forwards Curtis Sironen and Kelepi Tanginoa with season-ending knee ligament tears during the 16-point win over the Canberra Raiders.
Suddenly Lussick has become an even more valuable commodity as Manly's forward depth is tested.
The Sea Eagles confirmed to NRL.com on Monday that any plans to release him to either the Leeds Rhinos or Toronto Wolfpack in Super League had been put on hold.
The 193cm prop is into his third of a three-year deal with the Sea Eagles and is one of 12 players off contract in 2018.
His plans to become a regular member of Manly's forwards rotation in 2018 were stymied when Lussick suffered a high ankle sprain in the opening set of a February trial game against the Cronulla Sharks.
Manly still has front rowers Lloyd Perrett, Shaun Lane and Taniela Paseka, alongside regular starters and Kiwi internationals Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake.
Back-rowers Frank Winterstein and Lewis Brown, who have been on the outer recently in the NRL side, would come back into contention, as well as former South Sydney back-rower Jack Gosiewski.
However, Gosiewski picked up an injury with Blacktown last Saturday and it's not yet known how he will pull up this week.
Coach Trent Barrett has back-line troubles too.
He needs a fullback - most likely Matthew Wright - to fill in for a fortnight after Tom Trbojevic was ruled out with an ankle sprain, which was the third major casualty from the Raiders clash.